News & Announcements

CSU Student Earns NSF Graduate Fellowship

Kyra Rudy will pursue doctorate at Northwestern University

Kyra Rudy, a 2018 mechanical engineering graduate of Cleveland State University, has been awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation graduate fellowship to pursue doctoral studies at Northwestern University. Rudy will seek to specialize in rehabilitation engineering and conduct research at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, which is affiliated with Northwestern’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and ranked as the number one rehab hospital in America.

“Thanks to this NSF fellowship I will be able to further my skills at one of the most prominent rehab facilities in the world, while also advancing assistive technology that will improve the independence and quality of life of individuals with disabilities,” Rudy says.

While at CSU, Rudy served for over two years as a research assistant in Dr. Eric Schearer’s lab working on numerous research projects with an overall goal of using functional electrical stimulation to restore motion to the arms of individuals with tetraplegia. As part of her efforts, she assisted on a collaboration with Rice University to combine the electrical stimulation technology used by Schearer’s group, which uses the body’s own neurological systems to generate mechanical movement, with Rice’s upper-limb exoskeleton. The results showed promise for the successful use of hybrid systems for arm control in individuals with high spinal cord injuries. The project was presented at The International Symposium on Wearable & Rehabilitation Robotics in Houston, TX.

In addition to participating in undergraduate research, Rudy was also a member of the CSU Honors Program and served as secretary for Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. A native of Wooster, OH, she was named the Washkewicz College of Engineering Salutatorian for CSU’s 2018 spring commencement.

“CSU’s focus on engaged learning and undergraduate research gave me an amazing opportunity to work on cutting edge, impactful scholarship almost from the beginning of my college career,” Rudy adds. “It really helped me identify the best career path and greatly prepared me for the next step in my academic journey.”

“To have one of our students be honored with this type of award highlights the quality of CSU’s engineering program and the research conducted on campus,” says Schearer. “I would like to congratulate Kyra for this tremendous honor and look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with her in the future as she pursues a career in rehabilitation engineering.”